Erindale College Council

MINUTES OF THE COMPUTING AND DATA COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on Monday, February 24, 2003 at 3:10 p.m., in Room 3129.

PRESENT: J. Seel (Chair), J. Lim, A. Vyas, I. Murray, N. Collins, S. Qureshi, D. Hill, C. Ferencz Hammond
REGRETS: P. Donoghue, R. Baker, J. Poë, F. Brown/C. Capewell, P. Michelucci, J. Sills, T. Mann/K. Nugent, S. Kibria
VISITOR: P. King (Library); Len Paris (Campus Police)

  1. Adoption of the Agenda
    The Agenda was approved. (D. Hill/ J. Lim)

  2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting
    The minutes were approved with one amendment. (A. Vyas/N. Collins)

  3. Business Arising from the Minutes

  4. New Business:

    a) Recent Changes to laws concerning web accessibility issues – D. Hill

    D. Hill a reported that in the United States, section 508 of a law concerning web accessibility issues, specifically deals with federally funded websites. It requires that all federally funded websites be based on W3C guidelines, which are at priority one level of accessibility.
    He added that Canada has no such legislation, but that the federal government promotes a policy whereby all federal government websites have to follow a template, which requires accessibility. In addition, D. Hill explained that those who feel they have been discriminated against by inaccessible websites could launch a challenge under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    In response to a question, D. Hill explained that templates for website creation can be downloaded on the Computing Services website. A member also suggested that guidelines for accessibility and code validation for websites be posted for those in the UTM community who are in the process of building a website.

    b) Update on computer thefts at UTM – A. Vyas and L. Paris

    The Chair called on A. Vyas and L. Paris to report on recent thefts of computer and other equipment at UTM. L. Paris stated that UTM had been fortunate over the past three years not to have any thefts of this nature. He explained that currently existing security features in the 24 hour labs and in computer labs include closed circuit television and equipment which is security armed or physically secured. He stated that none of the thefts occurred in areas where such security measures were taken. He gave a handout to the committee, which outlined the dates, times and locations of the thefts. He stated that most of the thefts occurred during weekend periods, starting December 16th, with the last occurrence being between February 14th to 18th. Stolen equipment included projectors, flat panel screens and various Dell computer equipment, totalling approximately $36,000. A. Vyas remarked that large computer monitors and towers did not seem to be sought-after and therefore were not taken. L. Paris reported that Campus Police had plotted the thefts on a map of UTM and found that all of the incidents occurred close to exits and near stairwells.

    A. Vyas and L. Paris pointed out two new security measures that were being incorporated at UTM. The first such measure, Sonic Shock, is an alarm which is attached to projectors, computers and printers and once a theft attempt is made, the alarm is triggered, forcing the perpetrator to carry a live alarm or abandon the attempt. The cost of this alarm is $100 per unit. The second measure is a ceiling mounted projector enclosure, by Aztec Security Products, which can also be adapted to be mounted on carts and costs $600 per unit. It is recommended that any department making major computer or projection purchases utilize one of the above security measures.
    It was also pointed out that engraving was another deterrent option, with the advantage of easy customization per department. The engraver may be borrowed from the Computing Services department. L. Paris also added that Campus Police has introduced extra patrols, including plain-clothes patrols, as an additional precautionary measure against further theft attempts. A. Vyas emphasized to the committee the importance of backing up documents and keeping them in a separate, secure area.

    A member asked whether new buildings such as CCIT would have security measures. A. Vyas replied in the affirmative and stated that they would be very elaborate. The committee discussed the installation of cameras on all exit doors, but it was explained that the costs proved too prohibitive.

  5. Other Business
    A member inquired about the progress Computing Services has made in the development of an automated back-up system. J. Lim informed the committee that testing was ongoing and implementation was on track for March. He added that the new back-up program would be launched with an announcement to the UTM community and the introduction of a special user website.

  6. Next Meeting
    Due to the Chair’s absence at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Computing and Data Communications Committee (March 17), the date for the next meeting will be announced to members at a later date following discussion at the upcoming Executive Committee meeting. The Chair asked Joe Lim to chair in her absence if the meeting is held on the regularly scheduled date and to report to College Council on her behalf regarding today’s meeting.

  7. Adjournment
    The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m. (I. Murray/N. Collins)